Saturday, October 16, 2010

Village by the Sea: Carlsbad CA

Unlike many So Cal coastal destinations, Carlsbad is surprisingly low key and has a homey, almost retro feel – like someplace out of Sunset Magazine circa 1964. The beaches are clean, and there’s a nice mix of shops and restaurants.

Statuary lines up at El Corral Pottery
El Corral Pottery caught my eye for it’s fun display of fountains, statuary and colorful ceramics (Fiesta Ware fans take note). This business has been around since 1947 – and feels like it in a good way. I’m sure many a post-war So Cal mom stocked up here on tableware and patio décor. And although the store has lots of merchandise, its not overflowing with stuff. It’s almost like the selection has been lightly edited so you can really see and appreciate the items.

Waitress Christine standing by
Up the street from the pottery place is long-time Carlsbad establishment, The Armenian Café. Here I enjoyed lamb souvlaki on their deck complete with an ocean view, and the quaint setting and friendly staff helped take the edge off of the touristy prices.

And there’s one more charming touch - when you leave, there’s a bell you can ring that let’s other diners know you enjoyed your meal. My lamb souvlaki was a bell ringer so I gladly complied.

El Corral Pottery
3040 Carlsbad Boulevard
Carlsbad, CA 92008

The Armenian Cafe
3126 Carlsbad Boulevard
Carlsbad, CA 92008

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